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Published on June 04, 2024
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton Files Lawsuit Against Biden Administration Over New Overtime Pay RuleSource: Wikipedia/WhisperToMe, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has launched a legal action against the Biden administration's Department of Labor (DOL), alleging that the agency overstepped its authority with a new overtime pay rule. According to a statement issued by his office, the rule in question attempts to unlawfully raise the salary thresholds that determine which employees are exempt from receiving overtime pay and establishes automatic increases to these thresholds every three years.

Paxton insists that the DOL's move to broaden overtime eligibility is an overreach of its regulatory powers. In 2017, a federal court ruled a similar mandate from the Obama administration as unlawful. Paxton condemned the current administration's rule as a revival of previously defeated regulations, stating, “Biden’s attempt to sidestep the Constitution and mandate policies he could never get passed through the lawful process is a revival of the illegal scheme we fought during the Obama Administration,” The lawsuit aims to secure a preliminary injunction to prevent the rule from taking effect.

The legal battle dates back to the Obama-era efforts to expand overtime protections. Paxton's previous lawsuit in 2016 resulted in an injunction against the rule. The final judgment in 2017 supported Paxton's stance, with the court labeling the Obama administration's actions illegal.

In his recent charge against the DOL, Paxton reaffirms his commitment to once again challenge the federal government's authority in this area. "I look forward to holding this Administration accountable for their regulatory overreach—we fought and won this battle once before," Paxton declared. The new lawsuit alleges both a violation of the Administrative Procedure Act and an inconsistency with the Fair Labor Standards Act. Paxton and his team are to quickly process the suit through the courts.